Sail gen water generator uses the energy from the boat moving through the water to generate power. The Sail Gen water generator is a water powered propeller that uses the energy to produce electrical energy.
The Watt & Sea Hydrogenerator is a similar device which we looked at when it came out a couple of years ago. The Watt & Sea has proven popular with single handed racers.
The Sail Gen has a the same basic function as the Watt & Sea, but the main difference is the mounting system. The Watt & Sea is mounted like a rudder on the transom. Sail Gen is mounted on a hinge letting the propeller move independently from the transom as it pitches in waves.
The dive plane can regulate how far the propeller sits below the water surface. If the dive plane hits something it is forced up out of the way. This way the unit does not take the impact, something the Watt & Sea has been vulnerable to.
Sail-Gen Manufacturers Comments
Dedicated Water Generator for Cruising Yachts
Producing electricity on passage is an increasingly major consideration for the cruising yachtsman. With on-board refrigeration, autopilot, radar and many other electrical appliances, typical power consumption when under way can be around 200 amp hours per day or more.
As batteries should not be routinely discharged beyond 50% of their capacity, this level of load will flatten a 400 amp hour battery bank in 24 hours necessitating many hours of running an engine or generator daily to re-charge.
The Sail-Gen water generator dispenses with this by producing electricity as you sail and is easily capable of matching or exceeding the yacht’s power consumption.
The Sail-Gen shares the same operating principal as the DuoGen’s water mode, which is well proven over hundreds of thousands of sea miles. The Sail-Gen has the same geometry as the DuoGen and also utilizes the same alternator, water impeller and drive train.
The Sail-Gen comprises a rigid welded aluminum frame with carbon fibre drive shaft and cast alloy impeller. It is compact in size and both reliable and efficient in operation. At typical passage speeds (5 – 6 knots) the Sail-Gen is capable of matching power consumption, freeing the owner from engine runs to charge batteries.
Sail Gen hydrogenerator
The Sail-Gen’s alternator is not submerged, and is therefore less liable to failure through water ingress.
•The Sail-Gen’s running depth is controlled by a ‘hydro foil’ or ‘dive plane’. This means that the water impeller flies through the wave action at a constant depth and is not directly affected by the pitching movement of the yacht, as occurs with the ‘outboard leg’ type generator.
•The impeller running depth can be optimized by a simple adjustment of the dive plane angle.
•The dive plane prevents the water impeller from surfacing in all but the most extreme situations.
•The Sail-Gen dive plane is active, and moves to a positive angle as tension is applied to the recovery lanyard. This makes recovery simple and easy, regardless of boat speed.
•An impact wire can be fitted to move the dive plane positive in the event of a collision with floating debris. This allows the Sail-Gen to ride over the obstructions, minimizing any damage.
•The Sail-Gen is built using high quality, corrosion-resistant materials, including cast aluminum impellers, carbon fibre driveshaft and a welded aluminum frame. The aluminum is hard anodized, followed by a polyester powder coat.
•The slow speed, permanent magnet alternator is robust, highly efficient and well proven. Featuring stainless steel shaft and bearings, powerful ferrite magnets and heavy copper windings, this unit is capable of sustained outputs in excess of 500 watts.
•The Sail-Gen is supplied complete with an alternator yoke and ‘c’ bracket. Together, these form the gimballed mount for the Sail-Gen and allow the unit to pivot both vertically and horizontally when deployed.
•The ‘c’ bracket should be attached to the yacht within 500mm of the center line, and with height options of either 392mm or 532mm above the static water line. The ‘c’ bracket can be through-bolted to the transom. In some cases additional brackets may be required to facilitate the installation.
•In its ‘parked’ position when not in use, the Sail-Gen is held in a vertical position by a frame clip supplied with and integral to the mount hardware.
•The Sail-Gen is supplied in either 12 or 24 volt variants. A standard 280mm diameter impeller is available for yachts with passage speeds up to 9 knots. A high-speed 240mm diameter impeller is recommended for boats capable of speeds up to 15 knots.
•To prevent battery damage through overcharging, we recommend that a charge regulator forms part of the installation. This should be a ‘dump’ type regulator rated at a minimum of 40 amps at 12 volts.
•Drag and the resulting speed loss from water generators are often over-stated. Drag from the Sail-Gen is less than 15 kg at 6 knots, and typical boat speed losses at that speed are in the order of a tenth of a knot or less.
•The Sail-Gen weighs 16.7 kg excluding mounting.